Les “Plus Beaux Villages de la Terre” (The Most Beautiful Villages of the World) federates oversight of the label-bearing Most Beautiful Villages throughout the world and promotes the rural, historical and cultural heritage of the places to be discovered in the different countries.
Since its creation in 1982, The Most Beautiful Villages in France inspired other countries that were facing the challenges of preserving and promoting their rural and landscape heritage. Thus, in 1994, The Most Beautiful Villages of Wallonia was created at the initiative of Alain Collin, followed by Quebec in 1998, Italy in 2001 and Japan in 2005. In 2003, due to their proximity in Europe, the French, Walloon, and Italian networks started the initial basis for cooperation by creating The Most Beautiful Villages of the World association to bring together the existing networks of “Most Beautiful Villages”.
Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (1982)
Les Plus Beaux Villages de Wallonie (1994)
Les Plus Beaux Villages d’Italie (2001)
Les Plus Beaux Villages du Japon (2005)
Les Plus Beaux Villages d’Espagne (2011)
Wishing to associate the Japanese and Quebec networks to their venture, in 2012, the five associations created the International Federation of the Most Beautiful Villages of the World in Gordes (Vaucluse). This new official structure gave itself the mission of supporting countries wishing to create their network of “Most Beautiful Villages”, encouraging the exchange of experiences between networks and developing joint promotional campaigns.
Borrowing from the spirit of sustainable development and the preservation of rural, historical and cultural heritage that brings together all the existing associations, the Federation’s statutes also define the terms and conditions of entry as an active member in the Federation. In this way, only associations called “The Most Beautiful Villages in…” (or its equivalent in the language of the country of origin) can belong to the Federation. Among other things, they must justify:
Networks that have been recently established or are not yet fully established may participate in the annual work of the Federation as associate members:
There are more than 700 Beautiful Villages within our associations throughout the world!
Visit the website of The Most Beautiful Villages of the World or go to the Facebook page!
Every year, the Federation meets in one of the member countries for International Meetings of The Most Beautiful Villages of the World. Alongside the statutory meetings (Board of Directors, General Assembly), which govern the monitoring of actions and the integration of new networks, various times for exchange are planned. Indeed, each association member is invited to present an undertaking or a project linked to a given theme and village visits with meetings are also organised. These meetings allow members of the Federation to learn about the work of each network, exchange experiences and good practices and understand the geographical, heritage and cultural diversity of each country.
In 2014, the Federation launched its first Internet site (renewed in 2019) and subsequently, in 2015, the official Facebook page of The Most Beautiful Villages of the World, followed by an Instagram account (2017) and a Twitter account (2019). These online promotional tools showcase the Federation and aim to promote the various networks of “Most Beautiful Villages” throughout the world.
In 2016, the Italian Most Beautiful Villages association created an event to launch the tourist season of its villages on the date of the summer solstice: “La Notte Romantica dei Borghi Più Belli d’Italia”. Following the success of this first event, the Italian network suggested to the other member associations of the Most Beautiful Villages to adopt the concept in their countries in order to give an international dimension to this even with a universal theme. Thus, in 2017, La Nuit Romantique des Plus Beaux Villages de Wallonie and La Noche Romántica de Los Pueblos Más Bonitos de España were born, followed in 2018 by La Nuit Romantique des Plus Beaux Villages de France. During this event, the villages freely organised various activities on the theme of romance (musical lantern walks, flower decorations, special menus in restaurants, creative workshops, etc.).